We pledge to use the most sustainable fibers we can lay our hands on. All our cotton and linen will be organic by 2020. And our core merinos will get an ethical makeover: We'll use wool from sheep that are responsibly raised—on land that is managed with deep concern for the environment. We're determined to wean ourselves off rayon—TENCEL™Lyocell has much better chemistry. And we're taking a new look at polyester. If it's recycled, we're in.
At most dyehouses, hazardous chemicals go into your clothes—and out with the wastewater for treatment. What if we didn't use toxins in the first place? Since 2009, we've been working with bluesign®technologies to shift our global dyehouses toward responsible chemical, water and energy usage. We're making progress: By 2020, roughly 40% of our product will be either bluesign®certified or using exclusively bluesign®-approved chemicals. But frankly that's not good enough. We are continuing to reach out to other brands and work together to create demand for responsible dyes. It's our bid for collaboration as the new industry norm.
- resources By 2050, the global economy is projected to consume three planets' worth of resources annually. To change that trajectory, we're committing to less. Leaving less fabric waste on the cutting room floor. Using less water, emitting less carbon. And we’re investing in renewable energy and cutting our reliance on air shipping.
- people Our clothes are not made by machine alone. They require the deft hands of thousands of workers, whom we value for their part in our brand. For more than 15 years, we've trained workers at our key suppliers in China to voice their rights. Since 2005, we've invested in an alternative supply chain in Peru that pays fair trade wages. In India, we've launched The Handloom Project, a six-year investment program designed to empower weavers in rural communities. And we’ve joined the Better Buying program to more fully understand how our purchasing practices impact our suppliers. These are some examples of how we’re committed to improving the livelihoods of the workers in our supply chain.
- mapping It's no small feat to map a global supply chain, but it's a matter of integrity. We need to verify how every last fiber is grown and every last garment is dyed. We need to know that every factory, spinner and mill is following strict labor standards. When we began this project in 2014, we didn't think that would be too hard. After all, we've visited a lot of organic cotton fields and talked with workers at countless factories. But going deeper means getting our suppliers to reveal their suppliers. That takes trust. And time.
- reuse At the end of the day, we make stuff. Where it ends up is our responsibility. We start by designing our clothes to last, so they'll stay in your closet longer. And when you're done with them we take them back to resell. To date, over one million garments have been collected and sorted. As for the pieces we can't sell? They're tomorrow's raw material, to be reborn as new textiles or refashioned as new clothes. It may take longer than 5 years, but we imagine a future in which waste is a thing of the past.